Thanksgiving, my wife’s surgery and two books


By Marc D. Goldfinger

It was a weird Thanksgiving. The day before the holidays, I had to bring Mary Esther, my wife, to the hospital before 7 am. Originally the surgery she needed on her back was scheduled for 2pm, but the earliest person canceled which moved us forward in the queue.

It was really a big operation. She needed a laminectomy, which widens her spine which pinched her spinal cord and caused her to suffer extreme pain. They also had to fuse five vertebrae on his back.

The operation lasted more than five hours. The doctor worked extremely hard and was glad he only had to deal with one human being that day. I waited in the family room from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and read a little between prayers.

I was reading a wonderful book of poetry by John Sibley Williams called “The Drowning House” and many of the poems were heartbreaking about the flaws in our current American society. I will be reviewing the book in my next column but I haven’t finished it yet.

The poems are extremely powerful and I would read them more than once to get the full effect. My God, what a description of the world John Sibley Williams has created. I’m only a third of the way through the book, so I couldn’t do it justice in this column.

The other book I was reading was Neil Gaiman’s book called “Neverwhere”. It’s the story of a young man who gets involved with people who live in “London Below” and their world is strangely dangerous.

This is actually my favorite Neil Gaiman book and I highly recommend it as a gift for a loved one. I would recommend “The Drowning House” if your loved one really loves great poetry. John Sibley Williams could be compared to Martin Espada, whose new book “Floaters” has just won the National Book Award and is flying off the shelves.

All three books are available on Amazon and in many bookstores. I have two books on Amazon and myself. I thought I would do a little commercial for my two books as well. My books are about drug addiction, which is currently the other pandemic going through our country.

Let’s go back to Marie Esther. I was eventually called to visit her in PACU, which is the recovery room at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. I was a little surprised when I saw her because she was extremely pale and they were giving her blood transfusions because her blood pressure was still at very low numbers.

Mary Esther has made a good recovery, and I’m very happy about that, but it sure has been a weird Thanksgiving for us. I spent four hours visiting her over the holidays and left because she needed a rest.

I’m expecting to talk to him this morning, Black Friday, as they call it. I really miss having him in the house. I left Martin Espada’s book “Floaters” at the hospital with her because she really likes his poetry. Almost as much as she loves mine, heh heh.

Mary Esther writes beautiful poems herself and I have prepared a little book of them, but we only have one, so they are not for sale. Maybe one day.

The weather is getting colder and I remember selling Spare Change News on the corner of Temple Street and Mass Avenue. One time it was so cold that my blood vessels in my nose burst, which I imagine they call frostbite.

I didn’t even know it but a customer told me to come in so I wouldn’t hurt myself any more and I walked into 1369 Coffee House for a while. At that time I was living in a recovery program in Gloucester called Moore’s Way and Mary Esther came to visit me every weekend. I lived there for over two years; it was the best recovery program I have ever experienced.

Then I moved in with Mary Esther gradually. First spending the weekends at home, then longer. After 9/11, the twin towers, I spent a lot more time there and we went dancing and really enjoyed life.

Suddenly, April 7and In 2001 Mary Esther was struck down with sepsis and I took her to Mount Auburn Hospital where they saved her life. For two days we didn’t know if she was going to make it and at the time she was Catholic and a priest came in and gave her the last rites.

Then she gradually recovered and spent nine days in the hospital. That’s when we decided to get engaged. Time flies and we always have less than we think. Bless each day for it is the miracle we call the Now.

Mary Esther is a Buddhist now. She has taken her refuge vows and is working very hard in her meditations. I meditate with it almost every day and it helps me focus.

So that’s part of the story and it’s time for me to go visit him in the hospital. I have to call first to make sure I’m not interrupting any of his therapies.

Thank you, dear readers, for remaining faithful to our newspaper. We love you and without you we wouldn’t be here. Glad we survived Covid and any tax deductible donations you would like to make during this difficult season for our vendors are greatly appreciated. Bless you all.


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